Warren Central’s Shaila Beeler commits to IU

Indiana received a commitment Sunday from one of the state’s most highly regarded 2019 prospects, Warren Central point guard Shaila Beeler.

Beeler, considered the No. 19 recruit in the country by Prospects Nation, helped lead the Warriors to their first state title in 2018. She averaged 13.5 points and 5 assists per game on the year.

“Indiana was one of the first schools to recruit me as an eighth-grader, one of the schools that stuck around throughout the process, and they didn’t just fade away,” Beeler said. “I just felt a good connection with all the players; it was an outstanding environment. I would go there even if it wasn’t for basketball.”

 

The 5-foot-7 guard plays with another IU recruit, Bedford North Lawrence forward Jorie Allen, as part of the Indy Lady Gym Rats AAU program. Beeler joins a trio of forwards in the 2019 class, including Allen (6-1), Colorado’s Arielle Wisne (6-5) and Maine’s Mackenzie Holmes (6-2).

Beeler’s commitment brings with it a host of positives for Teri Moren’s program. For starters, she’s another in-state recruit, something the Hoosiers have struggled to attract in the past. Beeler said assistant coach Janese Banks, a Ben Davis alum, played a big role in her recruitment. 

“She made me realize how amazing it would be to play basketball where people knew who I was and things like that,” Beeler said. 

Beeler chose IU over Michigan State, Ohio State and Mississippi State. She informed the Hoosiers’ coaches and players of her decision in-person during an official visit this weekend.

There was certainly a celebratory mood in the room, because Beeler could be Moren’s most prized recruit to date. She was one of 35 athletes invited to participate in USA Basketball’s Under-16 trials in 2017. She was also an Indiana Junior All-Star in 2018 and should be in the discussion for even more accolades as a senior.

“What’s unique about Shaila’s situation: she comes from an Indianapolis school,” Indy Lady Gym Rats coach Danny Riego said. “If you look at the recent past in Indiana, there hasn’t been a ton of Indianapolis kids that have gone to Bloomington.

“Shaila has a good reputation within the Indianapolis area, specifically. This could literally open the floodgates to North Central, Ben Davis, Pike, because you have, arguably, one of the three or four best players in the 2019 class out of Indianapolis verbally committing to Indiana.”

Beeler also fills a position of need. Following the graduation of all-time leading scorer Tyra Buss, the Hoosiers needed to line up successors at the point guard position. Ali Patberg, who transferred to IU from Notre Dame last year, is slated to be the point guard in 2018-19 as a redshirt junior. Beeler will arrive when Patberg, a former Indiana Miss Basketball, heads into her senior season.

Patberg, junior forward Brenna Wise and sophomore guard Jaelynn Penn spent the most time with Beeler during her visit. Beeler was struck by the Hoosiers’ growth during last season, winning 15 of their final 17 games and claiming the program’s first WNIT title.

“In the beginning of the season, they weren’t doing good, but they had a lot to learn,” Beeler said. “But when they got to the WNIT, they stepped their game up. Just to see them do good was good for me in my recruiting process.”

In the summer, Beeler plays against a high level of competition in the Nike EYBL circuit. Early in her three-year run with the Gym Rats, Riego remembers calling Beeler up for a competition to replace Gary’s Dana Evans, a top prospect who had been summoned by USA Basketball. Evans, considered a top 10 recruit in the 2017 class, eventually signed with Louisville.

“You’d think everyone’s production would go down with the lack of Dana, but everyone’s production went up,” Riego said. “She has that ‘it factor,’ that gene. She can lead a basketball team to a win doing whatever she needs to do.”

Riego describes a quiet, but ultra-competitive floor general with a high basketball IQ. While Beeler doesn’t have a ton of size, she scores a majority of her points in the paint because of a quick first step and her ability to finish with either hand.

 

That description may sound similar to Buss, in a way. But the Warren Central senior-to-be has often played the role of facilitator for her high school and AAU teams. She came into last season’s state tournament averaging a little more than 10 points per game, but she produced a career-high 33 points for Warren Central in a regional title game versus No. 1 Pike.

The very next round versus Allen and BNL, Beeler led her team with 25 points.

“Beeler can score the basketball, but she might win you a basketball game with two points and 12 assists,” Riego said. “It’s not that Buss can’t have two points and 12 assists, she’s just a better scorer naturally. Beeler is a playmaker, a true point guard that can lead a loaded team.”

The addition of Beeler only adds optimism about the future of the Hoosiers’ backcourt. Penn and Bendu Yeaney started for IU in 2017-18 as freshmen, while incoming freshman Grace Berger scored 18 points for the Kentucky All-Stars on Saturday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Beeler also has a ton of experience playing with Allen.

“That’s a great one-two punch,” Riego said. “They are battle-tested against some of the best in the country.”

Sunday was a big day for Warren Central, because shortly after Beeler’s commitment to IU was announced, forward Cydni Dodd posted to social media that she was attending Michigan State.

Beeler and Dodd have been teammates for about six years, but they are already looking forward to their collegiate rivalry.

“I want to get more of this hardware in high school ball, and finish this AAU season,” Beeler said, “but then we are going to be rivals. It’s going to go down. I texted her. We’re talking smack already.”

29 comments

  1. T. Moren just keeps on gettin on. Just a big or two away. However, T.Moren will coach the incoming bigs up and everyone will play defense.

  2. Great catch for IU, and great article reporting it.
    Hopefully this will bust open Indiana high school recruiting for the IU program.
    Good work, Janese Constantine! 🙂

  3. Welcome to the family Shaila! Looking forward to watching you work on your craft at Assembly Hall. Great job by the coaching staff.

  4. Great verbal commit , no doubt. But Jon , I had the understanding that Patberg got a medical waiver and will be a redshirt sophomore and Wise will be a junior. Someone correct me if that is incorrect.

  5. This is a GREAT pick up for coach Moren and IU.. She is one of the premier guards in the country! The recruiting is just getting better and better with this coaching staff. It was certainly great to see the way Grace Berger performed in the All-Star series. She is going to be a great addition to IU next year. Things continue to look up for the IU women! Can’t wait till next year, Go Hoosiers!!

  6. Thanks Jon. It was great to see that Grace Berger showed well for the KY all-stars saturday with a leading 18 pts including 6-6 free throws. With Chanel Wilson also coming in looks like we should be in good shape at guard/wing positions. May be a little weak on the inside for lack of size, will miss Cahill at that spot.

    1. Yes we will miss Cahill but Brenna Wise put up very similar numbers (14.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 90% from the ft line) her last season at Pitt. Those numbers were in the ACC which is a stronger and deeper conference. I expect we will not miss a beat at that position.

    1. Steve W. and FAN,

      Yes, this scenario is possible. We reported the very same thing when she arrived: https://www.heraldtimesonline.com/sports/college/iu/womensbasketball/ex-notre-dame-guard-patberg-to-transfer-to-iu/article_6ff18937-dc90-53ce-a1a7-eb501bfbf27d.html

      I am shying away from saying Patberg will have three years of eligibility left, though. It’s too early to tell if that will actually happen, according to everything I’ve been told. FAN’s comment compelled me to check with a source one more time, and, as it’s been previously reported, and as far as I know, the medical waiver has not been granted. She will be listed as a redshirt junior this coming season and then, most likely, a redshirt senior the following year. IU will apply for the waiver, but it may not be granted until during or after her “senior” year in 2019-20. So there’s a lot of “ifs” involved.

      So, yes, it’s a fair point to say that Patberg may have two years with Beeler. I could have better acknowledged that possibility in talking about Beeler’s timeline. But it’s also not a definite, so it’s a little messier than FAN’s comment implies, unless he has some inside information I do not.

      Hope that explains things for everybody. We’re going to call Patberg a “senior” when Beeler arrives.

  7. It is great to see so much discussion and excitement about IU Women’s Basketball. And I might add, I think it is well deserved. Let’s hope that translates to more butts-in-seats at next season’s home games.

  8. I would be interested in knowing how many fans mailed in the $30.00 advance on their season tickets. That would give an indication of how many butts would be in seats. It would be great to see 8 to 10 thousand fans with season tickets. I might have to get their 3 hrs early to get where I like to sit.

  9. I’m with Jon on Patberg.
    Until IU says she’s officially been granted the extra year, I think it’s wise to be cautious.
    Three years of Ali playing here would be fantastic, especially with the latest high quality recruits IU has signed.

  10. Hoosierguy, I have been a season ticket holder for over 25 years and I can remember when Izard was the coach and we would normally have around 4 or 500 in attendance for a regular season game. It was pretty pathetic! Over the past several years we have averaged between 2,000 and 2,500 for a regular season game. It was really encouraging to see the increasing attendance from game to game during the WNIT tournament. Although I believe the conclusion of Cahill and Buss’s career’s may have had something to do with that? But, my hope is that among the 13, 000 that attended the championship game, thousands of those who no doubt saw the IU women play for the first time will now return next year and watch what we hope will be a very entertaining team. Maybe all we had to do was to simply get new fans out to see our product and they will now become fans that will be there time and time again. We can only hope? After all, it is cheap entertainment when you compare the price of a men’s game to a women’s game. I am still, as I have mentioned many times before very disappointed in the student attendance? I simply don’t understand why they won’t come out and watch the women when it doesn’t cost them anything? All they have to do is show their student ID and they get in free! I will tell you that, as a long time season ticket holder, it brought a great deal of pride and a tear to my eye to look into the stands at tip off time for the championship game and see 13,000 “butts in the seats”. Go Hoosiers!!

  11. This year’s team was undoubtedly my favorite for the simple fact that they were lead by probably the two greatest players in program history! And the journey they took us on at the end of the season was truly special. Amanda Cahill is my favorite Hoosier player in all of the years I have been a season ticket holder. She is a shining example of what a great team player is all about and constantly showed those around her how to be a true team player. This year’s team was a true example of how a team can truly evolve through the season and improve game after game as the season wore on. We were all rewarded by encouraging this team during each game and watching as the two seniors brought this young team along and encouraging them to continue to work hard and get better and better until they reached their goal at the end of the season! What a truly great year it was!

      1. There is never a wrong time for the truly great Richie.

        Believe it or not, the song still works if you substitute in ‘Trudy’ for ‘Truly.’ It truly does….

  12. BTW, latest rankings, Jorie Allen, ESPNW has her # 34 in nation as a 4 star player. Prospects Nation has her as a 4 star and # 72 in nation, Saila Beeler according to Prospect Nation is 4 1/2 star rating and # 19 in the nation. Not bad, Go Hoosiers!!

  13. The upcoming season will be the most successful in the history of the program. This team is athletic, talented, hungry, and deep. This is the first time during the Moren era that there is enough depth to defend the entire court for extended periods if necessary. The offensive end will see balanced scoring, a higher shooting percentage, a reduction of turnovers, and more fast break points. Unlike last season it will be an experienced, battle tested group that takes the floor on opening day.

    Go hoosiers!

    1. MikeC, I was out of state from April 1993 to July 1999 but have been an IU fan since 1953. Love IU Basketball. I remember Izard, barely . Wasn’t really a Women’s fan until Miller was named Coach. I, like you, was an Amanda Cahill fan. She was a consummate teammate.

  14. Mike c — I also where Allen was ranked #34 and a 4*, I think previously she was just a 3*. Jorie is quite the player for her size. For Bedford she played mostly inside drawing double and triple teams , one person cant handle her, Im surprised shes not a 5* and may be later on.
    Swartzie– I like your comment on next years squad potential. You have to love what Cahill and Buss did for the program, great people both players. I have hinted on here more than once plus telling other people that next years team will be even better. During the B1G tournament Bendu and Jaelynn were still making mistakes , but during those added NIT games they really blossomed and had a big say in winning the title. So that along with Patberg, Wise , and the other 3 incoming freshmen, lookout! For those that dont remember Patberg was ranked in her class at #13 overall and #1 in the country at point guard. Let alone she was Miss Indiana Basketball. Wise put up some impressive stats at pitt, captain of her team as a sophomore says a lot. Needless to say Im a big fan of hers, She is a fiery competiter and a leader type.

  15. I’m intrigued with the girl from LATVIA, Alexsa Gulbe. She is supposed to be a very good player also.

  16. Hey stats in the European championships are really outstanding! One thing about European players, the are incredibly fundamentally sound. Even their bigs are great ball handlers and very good out side shooters. I agree hoosierguy, I think we may have a diamond in the rough here.

  17. Gulbe is an interesting prospect , so lets hope she pans out as we do need her size and whatever else she can give us.

  18. I agree that Gulbe is sort of flying under the radar. With her international experience she should be more savvy and advanced than most freshmen bigs. If she can quickly adapt defensively and stay out of foul trouble she will be an important piece of the puzzle.

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